Juan Ford, an interdisciplinary Australian artist who is highly regarded for his hyperrealist paintings, received his Master of Arts (Fine Art) from RMIT in 2001. As one of the most celebrated contemporary Australian artists, Juan has received prestigious international awards and residencies across Australia, Italy and the United States. His many commissions include the National Gallery of Victoria’s Melbourne Now (2013/2014); Manifesta 9 European Biennale (2012); Premier John Brumby for Parliament of Victoria Parliament House; Melbourne Jewish Museum; Monash University; The University of Sydney; and Trinity College Melbourne.
After many years of finessing realist still-life and portrait genre paintings, much of Ford’s works ponder a reconciliation between the natural and the constructed through drawing references from elements in the Australian art canon and landscape. A consistent impetus in his work centers around observation and inquiry into humanity’s relationship with its surrounding natural environment. By virtue of his acute dexterity, Ford relies on hyperrealist paintings to transpose the viewers into the scenarios/environments depicted, which are semblances of a post-apocalyptic and dystopic realm. Natural motifs pervade Ford’s works, profoundly reinforcing the mystic sentiment that he strives to evoke. Subversive in his artistic ethos and intellectual in his rigor, Ford’s paintings on show activate a hallucinatory function, thereby unleashing the uniquely persuasive visual cues to drive his viewers into a disoriented world.
Parallel to the numerous awards and commissions the artist has received throughout his career, Juan also has an extensive exhibition history worldwide. His notable solo exhibitions within the decade include: Blank, Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong (2019); Personal Structures, Palazzo Bembo, Venice (2016); Lord of the Canopy, McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery, Melbourne (2014); When We take Flight, Bank of Melbourne in conjunction with National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2014); Lord of the Canopy, Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura (2013); Juan Ford: Works from 2001 - 2006, 24HR Art – Northern Territory Contemporary Art Centre, Darwin (2009). Juan has also taken part in many prestigious group exhibitions, such as New Histories (curated by Jess Brigfoot), Bendigo Art Gallery (2018); Analogue Art in a Digital World, RMIT Gallery Melbourne (2018); 21st Century Hyperrealism, Daejeon Museum of Art (2015); 5th Nakanojo Biennale, Gunma Prefecture (2015); In the Flesh, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra (2014); and Hotel de Immigrantes (curated by Tomasz Wendland), parallel program to Manifesta 9, Hasselt (2012).
A selection of institutions that collect Juan Ford’s works include: Artbank; The Macquarie Bank; Campbelltown Art Gallery, Campbelltown; City of Whyalla; Fidelity International, Sydney; Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong; Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Gold Coast; La Trobe University, Melbourne; Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne; RMIT, Melbourne; RMIT Union Arts, Melbourne; Trinity College, University of Melbourne, Melbourne; TXU Australia, Sydney; Victorian Energy Ombudsman, Melbourne; Westin Hotel, Sydney, as well as other private collections in Australia and abroad.